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Drupal GovCon 2016 - Agile for the Government Product Owner

  1. 1. Agile for the Government Product Owner
  2. 2. Agile Government Leadership
  3. 3. Outcomes for today
  4. 4.
  5. 5. Why you should do this course
  6. 6. Lesson 1: Introduction To Agile
  7. 7. ● What Is Agile? ● Why Agile In Government? ● Agile Government Handbook ● Government Challenges To Using Agile ● The Scrum Guide Lesson 1: Reading List
  8. 8. Agile 101 Case Study Discussion ● Live conversation with panelists from both the Federal and private sectors about Agile and its role in the context of government Scrum Training Series ● Scrum helps us practice Agile effectively. The Scrum Training Series above is divided into several videos Lesson 1: What to Watch
  9. 9. Lesson 2: How to Be a Product Owner
  10. 10. ● Role not a title ● How a PO relates to other roles ● Inward responsibilities to the scrum team ● Outward responsibilities to the rest of the world ● Necessary skills and abilities ● Common backgrounds What is Product Ownership?
  11. 11. ● Role not a title ● How a PO relates to other roles ● Inward responsibilities to the scrum team ● Outward responsibilities to the rest of the world ● Necessary skills and abilities ● Common backgrounds Product Owner Responsibilities
  12. 12. ● Day job ● Too many stakeholders ● Legacy process drag ● Long planning cycle ● Plan ahead of procurement process ● Value tradeoffs within contractual constraints Product Ownership is Different in Government
  13. 13. ● How to balance short term and long term priorities ● Executives think we bought “x” with a timeline of “y” ● I don’t know anything about software design ● Convincing stakeholders to accept an MVP approach ● Receiving clear explanations from engineering team ● What to do when things don’t go as expected Common PO Challenges
  14. 14. Lesson 3: Creating and Managing a Backlog of User Stories
  15. 15. Lesson 4: Interpreting the Burndown Chart
  16. 16. Lesson 4: Burndown Charts ● What is it? ● Why is it valuable? ● What can it tell you?
  17. 17. Next Steps Take the course: Stay in Touch: LinkedIn: Agile Government Leadership group Twitter: @agilegovleaders Email:,,
  18. 18. Open discussion

Notas del editor

  • Mark and Josh introductions
  • For folks that are new, we created the Agile Government Leaders group to support the agile community in government. We have a working group that includes folks who are practicing agile at the federal, state, and local level and contribute content to the site. The agile government leadership course includes the AGL academy, articles, and agile job postings. You can also find us on LinkedIn where we have an active community of over 500 people.
  • Interactions with Govvies revealed a need for training that is specific to gov
    People need hands-on training to achieve confidence. There are plenty of books written. We think you need hands on experience, hence the workshops, and we are here to give you the confidence to run these with your team.
    Tailored to government-specific challenges- we’ll be discussing a few today
    We will have several tracks of the academy. Product Owner and Project Manager have been released, we will soon be following up with an Executive course
  • Introduce the course
    Provide overview and highlights of course content where we will discuss a few key responsibilities and challenges facing product owners
    Make it easier for you to do the course by yourself or with colleagues. In fact, we encourage you to do this as a group
    Connect you with the broader Agile Government Leaders community
  • 4 lessons (approximately 30 hours total time)
    2 hands-on exercises that you run yourself or with your team
    Exercises are practice for the real work that you’ll be ready to do after this course
    Checklists and self-quiz on each lesson
  • Why do the PO Course?
    Get yourself ready to initiate your first agile project
    Support and participation of the AGL Community
    Advance your career by magnifying your team’s productivity
    Reduce risk on your projects

    AGL Academy got press - we plan to follow up with our contacts to showcase which agencies have done this.

    If you want to be able to say 6 months from now to your boss that you moved your department to Agile, you have to be able to do this course.

  • What is agile
    Way of operating inspired by the agile manifesto principles
    Scrum is one of several agile methodologies
    Scrum roles
    Difference between a project and a product
    Why agile in government
    "The easiest way to identify and explain what Agile offers to your agency is to replace it with “flexible”. We want our government to be flexible to meet the changing needs of our customers and citizens. We want our government to be flexible to produce the greatest value within the allotted time frame and budget. Being Agile (flexible, transparent, efficient) should be the goal of every government agency."
    There is not a textbook way to do Agile. There are many anti-patterns to avoid but you will find different flavors within your own department and at other agencies.
    Government challenges using agile

  • Reading about Agile and Scrum
    Specific information tailored to the challenges in Gov
    Some content comes from us, while others are sourced from the web
  • Agile Government 101
    Introductory video from AGL with real world examples from our team
    Scrum Training Series
    A set of six videos with the first providing a quick introduction to Scrum and the remaining five covering various Scrum ceremonies such as backlog refinement, daily scrum meeting, and sprint planning
  • It's a role, not a title
    How the PO relates to other roles
    In the scrum team
    Scrum Master
    Dev/Design/QA Team
    In the agency
    Outside the agency
    Responsibilities Inward to the scrum team
    The PO must articulate the overall vision and priorities for the project.
    The PO must be able to prioritize work.
    The PO is responsible for making trade-offs between features and effort in order to maximize the value of the product.
    The PO must use a burndown chart to predict the progress of the team in order to make good priority decisions and to communicate progress to stakeholders.
    The PO approves or accepts completed work (or gains sign-off by others)
    The PO is expected to understand the Agile process
    Responsibilities Outward to rest of the world
    The PO is a communications liaison to and from the Scrum team
    The PO manages relationships with stakeholders (executives and users)
    The PO must understand the user, and this means understanding approaches and technologies for learning about the user. These include user interviews, surveys, design studios, and other user experience design approaches.
    The PO ensures that features developed for the website advance key business initiatives
    Necessary skills and abilities
    Customer empathy
    Stakeholder management
    Communication and listening
    Interpersonal and building relationships
    Common backgrounds
    Backgrounds that allow them to think like their customers / users
    Customer service, marketing, business process management, previously did the user's job
    Backgrounds requiring stakeholder management
    Consulting, account/case management, cross-department initiatives
  • How is product ownership different in government
    AGL course content
    Day job
    Too many stakeholders
    Legacy process drag
    Political priority soup/ Name dropping
    Other things that may delay
    Long planning cycle makes continuity of vision harder (Idea -> justification -> budget -> procurement -> project -> ato -> launch)
    PO must plan ahead of the procurement process
    Contract structure, roles, deliverables
    PO must make value tradeoffs within contractual constraints
  • Common PO challenges
    How do I balance my short-term and long-term priorities?
    Don't forget the product roadmap
    Read more about these in the AGL PO course
  • 2 workshops
    Running a 3-sprint workshop
    Producing a backlog
    Time estimates for each
    We’re going to provide interactive assistance to at most 5 teams who are chosen to participate on June 6.
  • Writing user stories
    We provide you a guide for writing clear user stories using the INVEST model.
    INVEST model! Good user stories are:
    Small and
    Backlog refinement consists of two parts, your product backlog- all those things you would like to see in your product, and your sprint backlog- the features your team is actively building. Backlog refinement is key as this is a place for you to ensure you are aligned with your strategic plan.
    This lesson provides you two exercises to learn how to build out a product backlog and how to plan a sprint backlog
  • Lesson four presents you with the most basic of sprint metrics, the burndown chart.
    Sprint with large stories
    Sprint expanding in scope and missing target
    Sprint rushing to the finish

    You’re done!
  • Ask yourself:
    Am I ready to work like this?
    Is my team ready to work like this?
    Should I commit to taking the full PO course from AGL Academy?
    Should I commit my team to taking the full PO courses in AGL Academy? The PM course?
    Would I benefit from ongoing engagement with AGL? Follow on Twitter. Sign up for the newsletter. Join and post in the LinkedIn group.
  • Questions?